Israel: 'Israel Museum' opens to Orthodox Jews

Men and women might have separate visiting hours

17 August, 17:50

(ANSAmed) - Jerusalem 17 AUG - The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is considering allowing separate visiting hours for ultra-Orthadox men and women wanting to see an exhibition on Hasidic Jews, according to local media reports. Museum staff said they were surprised by the large numbers of Hassidic Jews who came to see the exhibition, called 'A World Apart Next Door: Glimpses in the Life of Hasidic Jews' which opened last month. The exhibition represents a turning point in relations between the secular Jewish museum and the Orthodox culture, which at its core is mired in an atmosphere of mysticism. 'Hasidic Culture is a source of great curiosity for many in Israel and around the world', said James S Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum.

The exhibition shines a spotlight on lesser known characteristics of the faith, in particular on the rituals and clothing worn by Hassidic Jews, which often contain rich codes woven in their garments. In nearby ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods of Jerusalem the show has sparked word of mouth interest. Entire Hassidic families have visited the exhibition, displaying a certain level of courage: other exhibitions in the museum feature scenes of nudity - forbidden in the faith; and the museum is open on the Jewish Sabbath Day of rest. Overall the exhibition is being viewed as an unexpected opening of dialogue between the Israel Museum and the orthodox community. (ANSAmed).

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